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Total hrs/Shift work/Picking up pts at end of your shift/Be Honest Plz

Discussion in 'Emergency Medicine' started by franklinthedog, May 4, 2007.

  1. franklinthedog

    franklinthedog Senior Member
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    I'm about to decide on my residency career choice (MS III)...but, here's the deal. I'm on medicine right now and after working from 8 a-11 pm w/ virtually no break I realized how much I don't want to work that hard the rest of my life. I've always wanted to do ER for this reason, it's quick and dirty, you get to see a lot, but you're not always at work (compared to other fields of medicine).

    I know myself, and to me, the one thing that gets me is long hours. I really like medicine for the sake of medicine, but also like having a life.

    So, that being said, is it possible to work in ER somewhere post residency and do, on avg, 3-4 12 hr shifts/wk? And, if so, do you have to take "work" home w/you? I would like to finish my charts/papers/etc while still at work, i want to go home w/nothing to do work-wise? I like the fast pace of ER, I like the variety, and I like the chaos. But, again, I would not like long hours (per week, not per day).

    Any advice...Is ER going to fit my wishes? I don't mind nights, weekends, or holidays, as long as per week or month I'm not working much overall (like 3-4 shifts/wk or 14-17 shifts/ month).

    Final thoughts: as a resident, do you have to see extra pts at the expense of doing charting at home just to "look good"? do different residency programs have different amounts of call based on rotations outside of ER?


    thanks tons for answering any of my questions!!
     
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  3. Jeff698

    Jeff698 EM/EMS nerd
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    Yes.

    Working 3-4 twelves a week is not at all oncommon in EM.

    What you take home with you depends on how efficient you are while at work, your practice, your group and how well you wash your hands at the end of the shift.

    Take care,
    Jeff
     
  4. kungfufishing

    kungfufishing Senior Member
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    the answers to you questions are "yes"
    however, EM is not for the lazy. You'll work hard during your shift. Picking up patients is not about "looking good" - it is about maintaining your department's flow, aside from caring for sick people. Go into EM because you like it, not because you are looking to avoid work, or you wont be happy.
     
  5. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good
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    12-hour shifts are getting harder to find now. They still exist, but a lot of ED's are moving to 10- and even 8-hour shifts. Most ED physicians work 32-36 hrs/wk or roughly 140-150 hrs/mo.
     
  6. franklinthedog

    franklinthedog Senior Member
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    thanks to everyone so far, so it sounds like EM is realistic in terms of total hours. 4 10's would be great....


    Below is not very relevant unless you are kungfufishing, i only posted publicly to clear my name so to speak

    and to kungfufishing, thanks for your input. i feel like i was misunderstood, i wouldn't have gone into medicine if i didn't like patients or caring for the sick. that's a given for me...however, there is a huge variety of total work hours within medicine, and i was trying to gauge how EM fits for me. I would in no way want to slack off at work or slow down the flow of the workplace. By the same token i wouldn't pick a career where getting off on time rarely happens. I would never want to avoid work as a whole, one can work hard and still take a career that doesn't involve lots of call or neglecting one's own family at the expense of their career. And, one can "like EM", and still not want to work the hours of a surgeon. If a patient is really sick and needs my help at the end of a shift, i'll give it, the same goes for co-workers who are swamped. It's important for me to not choose a career path blindly and to know myself so i can see how i fit. I am sure you are an excellent doctor and care for all of the sick. Hats off to you for your empathy and concern. However, I too am empathetic and caring, just wanted to clear the air. Thanks for being honest. I'm not one to get on my soapbox here on SDN, but in this instance i really felt misunderstood. I hope this clears the air and there are no hard feelings. Thanks
     
  7. roja

    7+ Year Member

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    charting at home? what is this thing you speak of?? ;)
     
  8. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good
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    Yea really. I've never dictated while driving either. I've known of a couple people who have done that... NOT emergency physicians though.
     
  9. Seaglass

    Seaglass Quantum Member
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    I chart at home. I telnet into the hospital network, load T-system and chart while drinking a beer. As long as it's done right after your shift it's permissable.
     
  10. BADMD

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    I knew of a resident that did that. His cell phone would fade in and out as he went home. After a few weeks of this, a line appeared at the bottom of one of his dictations:

    "I REFUSE TO TRANSCRIBE ANYMORE DICTATIONS DONE WHILE DRIVING!"

    That, plus and email to the head of ED ops pretty much ended that.
     
  11. spyderdoc

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

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    I also chart at home when I can't get all my charts done at work. We use the Ibex system for which I have access at home. I dictate into the e-chart with Dragon and life is good. All the nurses notes are there to see. I put in a few findings on the chart at work so I don't forget, and the rest is clicking little boxes, dictating in some words, then e-signing....
     
  12. roja

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    Seriously? I mean, I guess its possible but I can't imagine charting at a later date. But I am a product of my residency and I don't leave empty charts. It doesn'nt hurt that residents write most of mine. :D
     

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